SBC News Rivalry enhances Dota 2-focused Blacklist International partnership

Rivalry enhances Dota 2-focused Blacklist International partnership

Esports bookmaker Rivalry has renewed its partnership with Tier One Entertainment-owned esports organisation Blacklist International.

As a result of the Dota 2-focused deal, the two companies will continue to jointly operate the Southeast Asian team, Blacklist Rivalry, along with a new focus on more ‘creative storytelling’ and fan-focused activations. 

Tryke Gutierrez, CEO at Tier One Entertainment, commented: “Entering into our second year, we will continue building Blacklist Rivalry into a top-tier team that can rival the world’s most talented squads.

“As we look to maintain a culture of winning at Blacklist Rivalry, our partners at Rivalry will be focused on building deeper fandom around the team and highlighting the impactful narratives that emerge throughout their competitions.

“This project started out as a dream and we will always be thankful to Rivalry for making this a reality.”

Some of the activations noted include meet-and-greets and producing new episodes of Blacklist Rivalry’s behind-the-scenes docuseries UnRivaled. Activations at Dota 2 events were also highlighted in the new partnership.

Blacklist Rivalry was first launched in December 2022 in a deal that saw Tier One Entertainment enter the Dota 2 scene. Since the team’s debut, Blacklist Rivalry has qualified for two tier-one events – ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 and the Bali Major 2023.

Alongside announcing the renewal, Blacklist Rivalry unveiled its latest roster for the 2024 which includes Abed Azel ‘Abed’ L. Yusop, Kim ‘Gabbi’ Santos, Timothy John ‘Tims’ Randrup, Juan ‘Carlo’ Chua Manalo and Jinn Marrey ‘Palos’ Lamatao.

This is Rivalry’s second partnership in February 2024 already, with the betting company teaming up with ex-professional League of Legends player Filipe ‘Ranger’ Brombilla de Barrios

The bookmaker isn’t the only company that jointly operates a team with Blacklist Invitational. European esports organisation G2 Esports launched a Wild Rift team called G2 Blacklist that will operate out of the Philippines last year. 

Blacklist International is most known for its Mobile Legends: Bang Bang division, with its Philippines-based team winning the game’s world championship in 2021. 

Last year, Rivalry hit record numbers, notably during Q3 where the company reduced marketing spend and flattened opex.

This particular period – which ended 30 September 2023 – saw revenue of $8.7m, representing 22% increase year-over-year (Q3 2022: $7.1m) and also the highest yet for the sports betting platform’s third quarterly activity.

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